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Today’s PMQs only really got started when Corbyn sat down

1 March 2017

1:18 PM

1 March 2017

1:18 PM

The clash between the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister used to be the main event at PMQs. But this is fast ceasing to be the case. The most interesting bit of today’s session came after Corbyn had finished asking May questions.

In her exchanges with Angus Robertson, May refused to confirm that all powers in devolved areas, such as agriculture and fishing, would go to Holyrood post Brexit. Now, there is—obviously—a bit of Nationalist grievance hunting going on here and having multiple agricultural regimes within the UK would not be entirely sensible. But it would be a mistake if Brexit did not lead to a more powerful Scottish parliament.

We have got used to patsy questions to Prime Ministers from their own side. But the most helpful question for Theresa May today came not from one of her backbenchers but from the Westminster leader of another party, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds. In a rather amusing question which mocked John McDonnell’s talk of a ‘soft coup, Dodds asked May to confirm that whatever happens in the Lords today, the government remains on course to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. May said it did, reflecting the government’s sense that the Lords will only opt for one round of ping-pong over the bill. 

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